Tag Archives: Julie Andrews

RIP Christopher Plummer

I suspect that if an actor was asked about their career, they would not want to talk about just one role. But that doesn’t mean that the audience feels the same way.

Canadian actor Christopher Plummer died yesterday. He was one of those actors who could never be typecast, the number of characters he played over 70ish years is as long as my arm. For most of us, we know him for one film: The Sound of Music.

Playing opposite Julie Andrews, his Georg von Trapp was a man held back by grief, initially unable to open up to his children. At the time, he was in his mid 30’s, aged up to play a character a decade his senior. Though some might say the movie is sappy and sentimental (as Plummer himself put it), it is charming and thoroughly entertaining. It is no wonder that more than five decades later, it is a beloved classic that has been watched and memorized by generations of fans.

May his memory be a blessing. Z”l.

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Bridgerton Series Review

A good romance has the power to metaphorically sweep the audience off their feet.

The new Netflix series, Bridgeton premiered on Friday. Set in Regency era England, the program follows the romantic trials and tribulations of the eight children of the widowed Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell). Her children are named in alphabetical order, from A-H. It is based on the book series by Julia Quinn and the first book in series (The Duke and I). The female protaganist is Lady Bridgerton’s eldest daughter, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), who is entering her first Season.

The initial response to Daphne, according to the unseen narrator and gossip Queen, Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), is that she is the one to watch. But before Daphne can enjoy the spotlight, she is downgraded by Lady Whistledown to persona non grata. On the flip side, the husband that every match-making mama wants for her daughter is Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Having recently come into the title after the death of his father, Simon has made it clear that he is content to remain a bachelor for the rest of his days.

Simon and Daphne have a plan. They will pretend to court. He will appear to be spoken for and she will have more suitors than she knows what do with. But like many plans, there is a hitch. Somewhere along the way, their relationship begins to change.

Bridgerton is easily the best new television program of the year. In a nutshell, it is Jane Austen meets Shondaland. I love the diversity, I love the characters, and I love the smart and capable women who populate this world.

This Regency nerd is ready for season 2. Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Bridgerton is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Thoughts On the Bridgerton Trailer

There is nothing like a good BPD (British Period Drama). It has the power to sweep the audience into another world and for a short time, take them away from their everyday life.

The full trailer for the new Shondaland Netflix series, Bridgerton, premiered earlier today. Based on the series of books by Julia Quinn, the audience is introduced to the influential Bridgerton family living in Regency England. As the program progresses, they deal with the ups and downs that are unique to that world and that era.

The characters and the narrative are in the vein of Jane Austen, but the stories are not specifically based on any Austen novel.

I am intrigued by the casting of Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown, the all knowing gossiping narrator who, according to the trailer is only heard, but not seen.

From a writing perspective, the couple pretending to be in love to get others off their back is one of those storylines that is used semi-regularly. The question is if the writer(s) make it their own or just copy what has been done before.

I am really excited for program. I can only hope that the promises made in the trailer are kept.

Bridgerton premieres on Netflix on December 25.

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Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review

The 1964 film, Mary Poppins is an unadulterated classic. Starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, the film (based on the books by P.L. Travers) has entertained multiple generations of fans.

The new film, Mary Poppins Returns, opened yesterday.

The sequel takes place in Depression era London. Jane and Michael Banks (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) are now grown. Jane is single and works in the labor movement. Michael followed in his late father’s footsteps and works for the same bank that his father did. But life is not all that they hoped it would be. Michael is a recent widower with three young children. After the death of his wife, his financial issues started to become a problem. Then Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to their lives. With the help of Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Mary is more than a nanny to the newest generation of Banks children. Can Mary help them heal as a family and survive their troubles?

All I can say about this film is wow. It is fantastic. Emily Blunt’s performance as Mary Poppins is seamless and absolute perfection. While she pays homage to her predecessor, Blunt makes this character her own. For his part, Lin-Manuel Miranda is the perfect counterpart to Emily Blunt. His accent is also, well, a lot less questionable than Dick Van Dyke’s.

My favorite aspect of this film is that it appealed to both adults and children. It also has a message about resilience in the face of adversity and tragedy. There are also plenty of Easter eggs to please fans of the original film.

I absolutely recommend it.

Mary Poppins Returns is presently in theaters. 

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Thoughts On Mary Poppins Returns Teaser Trailer

Mary Poppins is one of those movies. The 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke has been viewed and loved by multiple generations of movie-goers.

Building on the multi-generational love, Disney will be releasing the sequel to Mary Poppins, entitled Mary Poppins Returns, the end of this year.

The teaser trailer was released last night.

Stepping into the iconic role of the everyone’s favorite nanny is Emily Blunt, backed up by Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack. What we know so far is that the sequel is set during the Depression. Jane and Michael Banks (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) are now adults dealing with a personal tragedy. It’s up to Mary to bring back joy and laughter back to the Banks family.

I have a feeling that this film will be one of those films that will define 2018. Mary Poppins is one of those characters that is beloved for many reasons. The only question is, how will the sequel fare compared to its beloved predecessor?

We’ll have to wait until December. Until then, the teaser trailer will have to do.

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Actor Spotlight Throwback Thursday-Anne Hathaway- Princess Diaries (2001) & Ella Enchanted (2004)

Tonight’s actor spotlight and throwback Thursday post is Anne Hathaway.

In the early 2000’s, she made a name for herself in the type of roles that many young actresses do: princesses and fairy tale heroines.

The first movie is The Princess Diaries (2001).  Based on the books by Meg Cabot, Mia Thermopolis is the average teenage girl. Gawky, insecure and invisible to most of her classmates, she does not know that she is not the average teenage girl. Mia is next in line to rule the fictional European kingdom of Genovia.  But before she can put on the tiara, she has to meet her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews) and learn how to be a princess.

Can she live up to the title that is her birthright or will she become a laughing stock?

Coming from the view of the intended audience, which are teenage girls, this movie is pretty good. Mia’s averageness, even under the extraordinary circumstances stands out. Casting Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse was a boon for this movie. And truth be told, who wouldn’t want Mary Poppins as their grandmother? I know I would.

Three years later, Hathaway stepped again into the world of fairy tales with Ella Enchanted (2004).

Also based on a book by Gail Carson Levine, it is a pseudo Cinderella story with a feminist twist. Ella (Anne Hathaway) has been given the gift (if you want to call it that) of obedience by a fairy, Lucinda (Tyra Banks). Her mother is dead, her father is greedy and emotionally absent from his daughter’s life and her stepmother uses Ella’s “gift” to her advantage.

Ella falls in love with Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy). Can Ella rescue herself, her prince and save the kingdom from the villainous Edgar (Cary Elwes)?

Again, if I were a teenage girl, I would enjoy the movie. It is a bit bland with some predictability in character and story, but I’ve seen worse.

Do I recommend them? Why not.

 

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Throwback Thursday-Julie Andrews Double Feature-Mary Poppins (1964) And The Sound Of Music (1965)

While there are some movies and some performers whose work receives mixed or bad reviews, there are others who are universally loved and treasured.

Julie Andrews is one of those performers, those movies are Mary Poppins (1964) and Sound Of Music (1965).

Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is a nanny who is brought in by Mr. and Mrs. Banks (David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns) to take care of their children. But Mary is not just any nanny. She has magical powers and takes her charges into an animated, fantastical world with the help of Bert (Dick Van Dyke). But in the end, it is not just the kids whose lives she touches, but their reserved father.

This movie is a childhood classic. Successfully combining live action with animation, this movie is an experience for audience members of all ages.

A year after Mary Poppins, she starred in what may be the most iconic movie of her career, The Sound Of Music. Based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Von Trapp,  the movie is the story of Maria. Maria is a young novice who has not quite conformed to the rules of the Abbey in which she lives. She accepts a job where she will be the governess for the children of widowed Navy Captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). While the children are rebellious and test her in the beginning, their father is the real test and will force Maria to question what she really wants to do with her life.

This movie, while a little on the schmaltzy side, is incredible.  I have yet to meet someone who has not loved this movie and related to it somehow on a personal level.

And just because it was so incredible, I am including Lady Gaga’s tribute to Sound Of Music from last weekend’s Oscar’s. I got chills watching her perform.

I highly recommend them both.

 

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